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The Undergraduate Calendar

Faculty of Environment

Environment and Business

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The Environment and Business Co-op Program is offered by the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) within the Faculty of Environment.

Environmental issues are increasingly becoming a part of business. Similarly, business approaches are becoming integral to the management of many environmental challenges. As the links between environment and business grow, there is a demand for individuals with a strong foundation in interdisciplinary environmental studies complemented by expertise in core business subjects. Decision-makers, not only in companies but in government and non-governmental organizations too, need to understand key environmental relationships as well as the economic ramifications of alternative courses of action.

Environment and Business is a distinctive interdisciplinary plan that integrates knowledge from environmental studies with business areas, while also providing skills in flexible problem solving and decision making. Graduates will be prepared to make valuable contributions to the understanding of environmental and business issues and to act on these challenges. The potential to develop a rewarding career is great. Graduates from Environment and Business are equipped with an environment and business toolbox, giving them business approaches, know-how, and experience to address environmental issues across industry and other sectors. Graduates might work as environmental managers in Fortune 500 companies, helping to reduce ecological impacts. They might work in government positions deciding on environmental policies and designing better regulations. They might develop marketing and business plans with alternative energy entrepreneurs. They might audit the environmental practices at facilities, or help with environmental management systems and corporate reporting.

This plan develops students' expertise in three key areas:

  1. Business: These courses provide the necessary expertise in business issues, providing basic competencies in areas of finance, project management, accounting, economics, marketing, and law.
  2. Environment: These courses provide the necessary expertise in environmental issues, including field ecology, geographic information systems, environmental research methods, and environmental law.
  3. Integration of Environment and Business: These courses serve as the core of the Environment and Business degree experience. Courses provide knowledge on concepts, tools, and approaches that are important in the intersection of environment and business; for example: environmental management systems, ecological economics, green marketing, and industrial ecology. Students will investigate case studies of specific environment and business experiences in companies and industries.

In years three and four, theme courses are offered in the areas of environmental reporting and auditing, environmental entrepreneurship, and corporate sustainability.

The strength of the plan is enhanced not only by its own multidisciplinary core faculty, but also by the wider expertise available to it at the University of Waterloo. Other academic units contribute to the Environment and Business program. Insights gained from across the campus will allow students to develop their own interdisciplinary set of skills.

The formal admission requirements are listed in the Admissions section of this Calendar.

The Honours Co-op plan provides for alternate terms of practical work experience and academic study. The first work term is in the winter of the second year. Co-op Environment and Business students must normally follow the work and study-term sequence as outlined in the Co-op section of this calendar.

Inquiries for additional information regarding co-operative studies, or additional information on this plan, should be directed to the Director of Environment and Business.


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